Thursday, March 15, 2007

Miller in the Online Archives of California

The Online Archives of California database reveals an extensive collection of Millerania available for research at academic institutions in the state of California. As an online resource, it mostly only offers basic information about collections, such as dates of correspondence with various people.
But a goldmine of Henry Miller photographic images may be found in the OAC's Johan Hagemeyer Portrait Collection [links below]. This collection of eleven photographs of Henry Miller (and a couple of his infant daughter, Valentine [incorrectly identified as his son, Tony]) are fully viewable on your computer as large, high resolution images. Henry was 55 at the time.

Johan Hagermeyer (1884-1962) [at left] was a Dutch-born photographer. His original career pursuit of Horticulture brought him to America. His photographic inspiration happened in 1916. By 1923, he had established his first studio at Carmel, California, which became his home base for over 20 years. On July 7, 1946, Hagermeyer visited Henry Miller at his home on Anderson Creek in Big Sur. The photographs in this OAC collection are all dated from this visit. The following year, Hagermeyer left his Carmel roost due to his dislike of the commercialzation of the area. He died in 1962.
The Johan Hagermeyer Photograph Collection is held at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. Here are direct links to each of the Miller photographs, which I've described in my own words: 1) Henry, with "Tony" as an infant [this is actually Valentine]; 2) Henry smiling at camera [seen above]; 3) Looking serious, at camera [seen in banner art]; 4) Blank expression; 5) Standing at cabin door; 6) Looking off camera; 7) Looking upwards; 8) Looking into the camera; 9) Looking off-camera, hand over mouth [published in Remember To Remember, New Directions, 1947]; 8) "Tony" Miller as a baby [this is actually Valentine].

Other collections at the OAC (spectacular in reality but not much to see from an internet perspective) include (amongst many others) the Henry Miller Papers, Henry Miller Correspondence 1960-1981, Lawrence Durrell Papers, Lawrence Clark Powell Papers, Bern Porter Papers, and the Anais Nin Papers, which I will profile [in relation to Miller] very soon.
The photograph of Hagermeyer is credited to Jane Bouse, the love of his life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, RC!

I had always thought that the photo #9 : "Looking-off camera, hand over mouth" had been taken by Man Ray (according to Brenda Venus in « Dear, dear Brenda », p. 67, 1986 edition, Henry Holt and Company, New York; and p. 139, 1996 edition, 2.13.61 Publications, Inc. Los Angeles.

I have now erased the name of Man Ray (whom I like a lot) from that photographic file in my computer and replaced it by Johan Hagermeyer. Thanks for that info.

On the other hand, I’m sure that the photos of Henry’s child (taken in 1946) are of his daughter Valentine, born November 19, 1945. Tony was born on August 28, 1948. The Bancroft Library at UC Berkely made a little mistake here...
Take Care!

9:07 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Excellent point, Pierre! Obviously you must be right: that couldn't be Tony, based on the date of the photo session. I'll make the change. Thanks.

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